Court seeks final report against Shehbaz in Ramzan Sugar Mills case


LAHORE: An accountability court on Thursday directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to present the final report on Ramzan Sugar Mills case against Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif within 15 days.

The NAB prosecutor told the court that matter has been forwarded to the anti-graft watchdog chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal for approval after which a reference will be filed against the former Punjab chief minister in the next hearing.

Meanwhile, Sharif’s lawyer has said that his client was in Islamabad for a National Assembly session due to which he was unable to attend the proceedings.

Subsequently, the hearing was adjourned till February 8.

NAB arrested Shehbaz Sharif in the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme scam on October 5. The ex-CM was charged with awarding against-the-merit contracts to his favourite firm.

He was apprehended after his appearance before NAB in Saaf Pani scam. Reports emerged that three files, pertaining to the irregularities in the contract awarding procedure in his tenure, were tabled before him. The bureau quizzed Sharif regarding a tender awarded to a private consultancy company for a survey of the Saaf Pani company.

The PML-N president had failed to satisfy the NAB team during the investigation and, subsequently, was arrested.

The anti-graft watchdog had claimed that the company did not conduct any kind of survey but was given Rs1.5 billion nevertheless.

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s principal secretary Fawad Hassan Fawad became an approver in the case. Fawad Hassan Fawad, in his statement before NAB, had claimed that he had awarded a contract to a “favourite firm” in the Rs14 billion Ashiana Housing project at the behest of Shahbaz Sharif.

The anti-graft agency said that the contract for the housing scheme was won by a construction company titled ‘Chaudhry Latif and Sons’ but Sharif cancelled it and later on awarded the contract to Lahore Casa Developers – a proxy group of Paragon City (Pvt) Limited, which is said to be owned by ex-Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, who is also facing an inquiry in Paragon Housing scam.